In the spring of 2021, the theatre company freezeProductions produced the performance Tarnima Nammatai with financial support from Socialstyrelsen, Statens Kunstfond, NAPAs cultural support programme, Katuaq, Aarhus Municipality, Nunafonden and Nuuk local committee.
The performance toured with great success in South Greenland and is now touring towns north of Nuuk.
The theatre performance is being shown in Uummannaq, Qasigiannguit, Aasiaat, Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat, Sisimiut and Maniitsoq.
Life on Tour
We leave on the plane from Nuuk… in fact we have to take three planes and a helicopter to Uummannaq, which is our first destination. Uummannaq with the beautiful, heart-shaped mountain, as well as the well-known orphanage also named Uummannaq. As we fly across the island, it is as if it stretches towards us. The light climbs up the mountain and throws itself down the other side. There are steep streets, and the Greenlandic dogs stand on the bedrock around and within the town.
Uummannaq is magnificent and beautiful. We manage to receive both a visit by the mayor in the orphanage where we are staying, and kaffemik with the locals. And we get pampered with all the wonderful food and with conversations and laughter.
It is Sunday, October 3. Around the corner from the orphanage is the hall where we will be doing the performance and the exhibition with photos from the project. It is a great, big hall and we set up. The scene is not as big, so the actors adjust their equipment, and the light has been set so the performance fits to the size of the stage. People arrive at about 6:45 p.m. but the doors to the main hall will not be opening until 7:15 p.m. which allows early arrivals to enjoy the exhibition, with photos of Rasmus Lyberth, Gukki Nuka and Jokke Rosing, set up for the audience in the waiting room.
A little past 7:30 p.m. people are still arriving. There are about 300 chairs setup, but we are short on seats. Luckily there are benches in the hall, and all get a place to sit. All in all there is an audience of about 375 people to watch the performance. It is very important to us, that everyone gets a seat. Emergency preparedness is also in place. The performance is about sexual abuse, and about love and hope, and some might react strongly to it.
Therefore, this wonderful cooperation with Killiliisa/Socialstyrelsen. In South Greenland several people have approached for a talk after the tour, so it is important that there is someone to follow up. We know that the performance is powerful, and it is healing for some and beautiful too. And we want the performance to help breaking taboos, and let people get help and open up the conversation. And if more people approach with their stories to the therapists and thereby get help, we are happy too. Great art can be combined with information and development.
The night goes well, people react with applause and standing ovations. How wonderful. We are relieved, now the grand tour is well underway. The mayor and his people were happy, and one of the officials came over and embraces me and said that it is a gift.
Later on, she wrote on Facebook: “Dear fellow citizen. Tonight, I watched the touring performance in Uummannaq. The performance is about sexual abuse and all the emotions that follows with abuse.
The children’s feelings, the girls’ feelings, boys’ feelings, parents’ feelings, the abuser’s feelings. Problems with abuse is a great issue in our country, and they must be stopped. Here the path is shown by the performance. I hope you will go to watch the performance when it reaches your city. Abuse must be stopped.”
As in South Greenland – and in Nuuk there are strong reactions, and many happy reactions. It is good that the stage art can reach so many people.
We have a wonderful concluding night on the orphanage, and I think about how many wonderful people we meet. And this was only the first stop.
Tomorrow we will go to Qasigiannguit. The tour had a great start, and we are already looking forward to playing for the upcoming audiences.
Hanne Trap Friis / theatre director
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